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Butter Paneer Masala


Butter Paneer Masala is a rich and creamy North Indian dish featuring paneer (Indian cottage cheese) cubes in a velvety tomato-based gravy. Known for its smooth texture and flavorful, mildly spiced sauce, this popular vegetarian curry pairs perfectly with naan, roti, or rice.

Butter Paneer Masala

Recipe by Srikant SinghCourse: MainCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Medium


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Butter Paneer masala is made in two stages and the end result in each stage is a complete recipe by itself. First we will make the Makhni gravy or the blended tomato sauce. This is a milder sauce prepared with aromatics, tomato and whole spices. In the second stage this blended tomato sauce is spiced up with additional ground spices. This sauce can be used not just in combination with paneer but also with other cooked vegetables, cooked Tofu , grilled or Tandoori chicken.

Ingredients for step 1

  • 600 grams Tomatoes diced into 6 pieces

  • 100 grams or 1 Medium sized Onion chopped coarsely

  • 2 Tbsp Garlic chopped or crushed

  • 1 inch Ginger chopped or crushed

  • 1 handful of coriander leaf stalks

  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil

  • 15 grams unsalted butter

  • 2 Tejpatta or Indian bay leaf

  • 1 Black Cardamom

  • 1 Mace

  • 8 Cloves

  • 8 Green Cardamoms

  • 1 inch Cinnamon or Cassia

  • 60 grams whole raw cashew nuts

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • Ingredients for step 2
  • 100 grams or 1 medium size Onion finely chopped

  • 2 inch ginger sliced into Julienne

  • 50 grams unsalted butter

  • 2 Tbsp oil

  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric

  • 1 tsp Coriander powder

  • 1/2 tsp Cumin powder

  • 1 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder

  • 1/2 tsp garam masala

  • 2 Tbsp Kasuri Methi or dried fenugreek leaves

  • 3 tsp cooking cream

  • 500 grams of paneer cut in cubes and soaked in saline water


  • Heat 1 tsp of cooking oil in a pan and add 15 grams of butter to it
  • Add the whole spices , except kashmiri red chilli and cook for about half a minute
  • Add the chopped garlic, ginger and chopped onions and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on medium heat
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, fresh green chili and coriander stalks
  • Add Kashmiri red chili , cashew nuts and salt
  • Mix well and cook for between 12 to 15 minutes, or until the Tomatoes become soft and pulpy. Use a lid to preserve the moisture in the pan and stir occasionally.
  • Once cooked, let the tomatoes cool before we blend it into a smooth paste. Pick out and discard all the whole spices except the kashmiri red chili
  • Blend the ingredients with 1/2 a cup of water into a smooth paste
  • Pass the paste through a fine strainer and your blended sauce is ready. This can be a dish too, called Butter paneer or paneer makhni, if you add the paneer cubes and garnish it with cream. But we will spice it up further and make butter paneer masala
  • Now in stage 2 , heat 2 Tbsp of oil and 50 grams of unsalted butter
  • Add chopped onions and ginger julienne and cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Do not brown the onion , rather cook until it becomes soft and translucent.
  • Add the ground spices now , turmeric , coriander, cumin and cook for 30 seconds
  • Add Kashmiri red chili powder and garam masala and cook for a further 30 seconds. Chili powder must not be cooked for too long, it can render the dish bitter
  • Add the blended tomato paste that we made earlier to the pan along with 1/2 a cup of water. Mix and allow it to simmer for about 5 minutes. Add more water if necessary
  • Dry roast Kasuri methi until crisp. Cursh them between your palms and add it to the sauce
  • Add the paneer cubes to the pan, mix and cook for a further 15 minutes. Stir occasionally and gently
  • Turn off the heat and add cooking cream and mix
  • Garnish the dish with cream, ginger julienne and fresh coriander and your butter paneer masala is ready to be enjoyed

Recipe Video

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